Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/128

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

approbation in such a matter would be equally misplaced. . . . Everything has been said upon the importance of high scientific training, one of the treasures of the human mind. A great country should increase it continually, in order to be able to diffuse it abundantly."

Besides the multitude of papers embodying the results of his special investigations, and his addresses, Professor Wurtz is the author of a number of works of a more general character, among which are his "Traité élémentaire de Chimie médicale" (Elementary Treatise on Medical Chemistry), 3 vols., Paris, 1864-'65; "Leçons élémentaires de Chimie moderne" (Elementary Lessons of Modern Chemistry), 1866-'68; "Dictionnaire de Chimie pure et appliquée" (Dictionary of Pure and Applied Chemistry), 1868 and following years, with an introduction published separately in 1868, under the title "Histoire des Doctrines chimiques" (History of Chemical Doctrines); "Les hautes Études pratiques dans les Universités Allemandes" (High Practical Studies in the German Universities); and an unfinished "Treatise on Biological Chemistry" (vol. i, 1880). The "Dictionary" just mentioned, which was completed in 1879, after twelve years of preparation and publication in numbers, is pronounced by the "Revue Scientifique" the most complete treatise on chemistry now existing in France. In its preparation, Professor Wurtz was assisted by his fellow-chemists and compatriots, who contributed special articles, each working in the line to which he had given the most attention. Professor Wurtz himself furnished the theoretical articles, especially those having reference to the theory of atoms and their unitary grouping in compounds, of which he is the leading expositor. "In these articles," says the "Revue Scientifique," "the reader will recognize the vigor and precision of style which are the stamp of the works of M. Wurtz." In English translations have been published "Chemical Philosophy according to Modern Theories" (London, 1867), and "Theory from the Age of Lavoisier" (1869). His two latest works, in their English translations, have gained considerable circulation in the United States. The "Elements of Modern Chemistry" (1880) is a text-book, the leading features of which are defined by a discriminating critic in "Nature" to be "clearness of statement, selection of typical facts from among the vast array at the service of the chemical compiler, and devotion of a comparatively large space to chemical theory, and to generalizations which are usually dismissed in a few words in the ordinary text-book"; withal, notwithstanding its copiousness, the book "is exceedingly interesting and eminently readable." The "Academy," reviewing the same work, speaks of its author as "universally recognized as one of the most able of living chemists; he is also an exact thinker, deeply imbued with philosophical ideas, and a very successful teacher." The book comprises a complete introduction to both inorganic and organic chemistry, and presents the newest ideas regarding such subjects as atomicity and isomerism. The other book, "The Atomic Theory," is